- Vedika Bhatt, Malaysia
Affiliation: Universiti Malaya, Malaysia
“I have witnessed family members and healthcare workers suffering from AMR. This became my motivation to conduct research and surveillance in the field” – Vedika Bhatt
Vedika Bhatt is a Malaysian AMR advocate currently pursuing her master’s degree in medical science at the University of Malaya, Malaysia. She recently trained at Pantai Premier Pathology. Currently, she is with the MY-ERIC AMR research group, where she works on increasing AMR awareness and prevention in Malaysia. Vedika is interested in creating more awareness of the dangers of AMR in Malaysia. “I hope to provide a multidisciplinary platform for young scientists to share their interest and opinions on combating AMR by creating a training bundle to spread knowledge on AMR” – VEDIKA BHATT
Project: With the intent to promote a large-scale sensitization of AMR in Malaysia, Vedika is set to empower university students across Malaysia and neighbouring countries through educational training programs that include workshops, symposiums, ambassadorship programs and podcast productions aimed at providing insights into the prevention of AMR from different perspectives. Follow Vedika on Linkedin here
2. Oluwafemi Daodu, Nigeria
Affiliation: University of Ilorin, Nigeria
“If the rate at which MDR is increasing is higher than the discovery of new antimicrobials, we should all be worried. Hence there is a need to sensitize all.”
Dr. Daodu Oluwafemi Babatunde is a veterinarian and AMR advocate from Ondo State, Nigeria. He works as a lecturer in the Department of Veterinary at the University of Ilorin, Nigeria. He teaches bacteriology, virology, and immunology. He is a clinician at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital, University of Ilorin. On joining the university workforce, he worked on fish-isolated Aeromonas species and observed antibiotic resistance in fish production. Recently, he has recognized AMR patterns in companion animals, specifically dogs, and cultured fish.
“There is continuous irrational use of antibiotics among livestock farmers in Nigeria despite the availability of a national action plan on antibiotic use and AMR. Unfortunately, MDR bacteria are increasing alarmingly in livestock production.”
Project: Dr Daodu will organise hybrid programs to increase farmers’ and other stakeholders’ understanding of antimicrobial resistance (AMR), the relationship between humans and animals on the food chain, rational and irrational use of antimicrobials, preventive measures, and alternatives to antimicrobials in animal production. Oluwafemi’s project aims at using a multidisciplinary approach to health to educate and enlighten food and animal producers and other key stakeholders. Follow Daodu on Linkedin here
3. Kenneth Egwu1 and Ibrahim Adamu2, Nigeria
Affiliation: University of Nigeria, Nsukka 1 and Federal University Dutsin-Ma, Nigeria2
“AMR is a global health issue that knows no borders nor racial status. If we don’t mitigate it, we will continue to lose our loved ones.” – Kenneth Egwu
Kenneth Egwu is an AMR advocate and final-year pharmacy student at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), Nigeria. He is the media and publicity team lead at the Community Health Awareness Network (CHANET). He co-hosts Twitter spaces dedicated to addressing AMR and its idiosyncrasies in Low and Middle-Income Countries, including Nigeria. He recently graduated from the Pharmacy Society of Nigeria-Young Pharmacists Forum (PSN-YPG) Research Mentorship Program.
Ibrahim Adamu is an AMR advocate and an undergraduate Microbiology student from Federal University Dutsin-Ma, Nigeria. He is currently a visiting researcher at the Wellcome Sanger Institute, Cambridge, United Kingdom. He is investigating Vibrio cholerae plasmids. Kenneth and Ibrahim are part of the team that finished as finalists in the Innovate4Health Competition organized by the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, ReACT, and the International Federation of Medical Students Association (IFMSA) after proposing an intervention that will help reduce the arbitrary use of antimicrobials among farmers in Northern Nigeria.
“The possibility of infections in Nigeria is high, and treatments are often difficult to access considering financial hardships and the poor healthcare system. It becomes even more difficult when one is exposed to resistant infections.” – Ibrahim Adamu
Project: Kenneth and Ibrahim will organise a program that will train 92 students in 24 groups from tertiary institutions across the six geo-political zones in Nigeria with the hope of widespread AMR sensitisation. Following the program, participants will be expected to establish AMR clubs in their respective institutions, seek interested volunteers and raise awareness about AMR. Follow Kenneth and Ibrahim on Linkedin here and here
4. Michael Mosha, Tanzania
Affiliation: Roll Back Antimicrobial Initiative(RBA), Tanzania
Michael Mosha is an AMR advocate, pharmacist, and public health specialist from Tanzania. He is the project lead at Roll Back Antimicrobial Resistance (RBA) initiative, a non-profit, non-governmental organization located in Dodoma, Tanzania. Over the years, RBA has organized projects in secondary schools, published research papers and collaborated with Tanzania’s ministry on the development and review of the country’s national action plan for AMR. He has participated in road shows, door-to-door campaigns, and community education initiatives to raise awareness of AMR risks. Also, he has led his team to recruit and educate public tricycle drivers about AMR through posters and songs played while transporting passengers.
“The way antibiotics are prescribed and used globally needs to be altered immediately. If not, antibiotic resistance will continue to pose a serious health hazard even if new medications are developed.”
Project: Michael hopes to equip 100 selected interns from 20 hospitals in 20 areas of Tanzania. In turn, the interns will then educate patients and healthcare workers on AMR. The project aims to improve the capacity of upcoming healthcare workers generations to promote AMR prevention and antimicrobial stewardship measures. Follow Michael on Linkedin here
5. Edwin Ngula Luguku, Tanzania
“Fighting AMR saves lives. It is as important as inventing drugs itself.”
Edwin Ngula Luguku is a medical doctor and AMR advocate from Tanzania. He is a creative designer and an innovator working with a medical media project called AFYATOON which is aimed at delivering health information and education. Edwin aspires to use multi-disciplinary approaches to reduce and eradicate antimicrobial resistance among other public health burdens in the Tanzanian community. “My motivation for fighting against AMR comes from the increasing burden of diseases that are challenging to treat or untreatable using traditional methods.”
Project: Edwin plans to provide university students majoring in journalism or medicine with a three-phase AMR course that includes beginner, intermediate, and advanced knowledge as well as a thorough nurturing program and AMR-based content distribution. The project is anticipated to provide a lot of AMR sensitization in Tanzania. Follow Edwin on Twitter here
6. Adela Melcrova, Netherlands
Affiliation: Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials, University of Groningen, Netherlands
“Bacteria evolve and adapt. We use an antibiotic for a few years and cannot use it anymore, so we need to adapt. We need to evolve our healthcare strategy.”
Adela Melcrova is a highly motivated biophysics researcher and an AMR advocate with a mission to contribute to healthcare improvement. She designs in-depth studies of antibiotic–bacteria interactions and works against one of the biggest threats to human health—AMR. She joined healthcare-related projects during her undergraduate years in Prague (CZ) where she studied methods for neurodegenerative disease diagnosis and the molecular composition of pharmaceutical mixtures. During her PhD at the J. Heyrovský Institute of Physical Chemistry, CZ, she found passion in the studies of cell membranes and surfaces, especially studies of small molecules interacting with membranes.
Subsequently, she suggested a way to investigate how antibiotics travel through bacteria’s outer layers, for which she obtained an XS grant for highly innovative projects (NWO). Apart from practicalizing science, Adela loves talking about science. She won a silver prize in the Young Speakers Contest at the International Conference FYSICA 2020.
Project: Adela intends to restore Enterococcus faecalis’ susceptibility to daptomycin by dissolving membrane domains with AMC-109. By combining cutting-edge techniques to gain insight into domain structure and dynamics, she will also investigate how membrane-domain-targeted antibiotics can be utilized to reverse resistance to antibiotics. Adela is optimistic about demonstrating a novel approach to restoring methicillin, penicillin, daptomycin, and other possible antibiotic susceptibilities in lethal resistant organisms. Follow Adela on LinkedIn here
7. Pontus Nordenfelt, Sweden
Affiliation: Lund University, Sweden
“I want to keep training scientists and students and continuously make new fundamental discoveries.”
Pontus Nordenfelt is an AMR advocate from Sweden. He studied Chemical Engineering (M.S. Eng) at Lund University. He completed his PhD in Cell and Microbiology at Lund University and the University of Toronto, focusing on bacteria phagocytosis. His first postdoc in infection medicine was at Lund with studies on pathogen antibody interaction. This was followed by a longer immunology postdoc at Harvard Medical School. His second postdoc focused on integrin biology. With grants from the Swedish Research Council and the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundations, he started his group in 2017 at the Faculty of Medicine at Lund University. Pontus is interested in applying innovative methodologies to combat AMR by using antibodies to develop effective treatments for bacterial diseases.
Project: Pontus intends to use novel techniques for Pseudomonas aeruginosa including functional profiling, antibody engineering, and discovery. In order to help pave the way for antibodies to be a viable alternative to or complement to antibiotics in the treatment of Pseudomonas infections, Pontus is convinced his technique will be able to map out critical components of antibody function and attempt to determine the optimum antibody properties for in vivo protection. Follow Pontus on LinkedIn here
8. Pedro Abril Ortiz, Ecuador
Affiliation: Universidad de Cuenca, Ecuador
Pedro Abril Ortiz is a passionate AMR advocate and medical student at the University of Cuenca. He has been a research assistant at ReAct Latin America and Pharma Nut. Group, University of Cuenca serving as assistant chairman for four academic periods. He emerged second place in the 1st National Contest of Clinical Cases organized by the Technical University of Manabi, Ecuador in 2021. He is also the student coordinator for the project titled Monitoring and Dispensing of Antibiotics in Humans, Cattle and Pigs as a Contribution to the Control of bacterial resistance in the City of Cuenca.
Project: Through his project, Pedro hopes to connect Latin American civil societies with academic initiatives supported by students and health sciences experts. This will raise awareness of antibiotic resistance. He will host a number of intervention workshops in schools, as well as the first National fair for International Microbiome Day. He is also conducting interviews with experts and organizing live broadcasts on various social networks. Follow Pedro on Linkedin here